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Rye High Boys’ Soccer

By Mitch Silver

If you like the way the Rye-Harrison football game went, you’ll probably like this soccer story. In what seemed like a replay of The Game on the same McGillicuddy Field 48 hours later, the (lower-case) game of Boys’ Soccer saw Harrison score easily in the first three minutes of play. And then, just like the football game, Rye scored five times without yielding another point to stun the Huskies.

This, mind you, was a Harrison team that beat the Garnets by 4-1 when they played at Rye September 13. So what made the difference?

“The boys’ frame of mind,” jubilant Head Coach Ernest Harmon said afterwards. “You have to be in the right frame of mind to play this game, and we were today.”

It helped that Rye had its injured players back, especially goalkeeper Kai Haesslein, who’d missed the previous two contests. It also helped that center midfielder and co-captain Carl Friedrich controlled play in midfield, co-captain Alec Jautz commanded the defense, and forward Kevin Abbondanza alertly made the most of his first-half scoring opportunities.

Fifteen minutes after Rye fell behind, Richard Savage tried a cross from the left corner. It deflected off a defender and Abbondanza flicked it in with a knee-high right-footed volley past the keeper.

Seven minutes later, Friedrich sent in a free kick that Harrison’s keeper had and dropped. Abbondanza was Kevin-on-the-Spot, and it was 2-1 Rye.

Fourteen minutes into the second half, Friedrich blasted a free kick in from just outside the penalty box. When the refs called the play back because they hadn’t blown a whistle (or some such thing), Jake Creus calmly stepped up and scored again, this time into the lower right corner.

Jautz sent Creus in on goal with a beautiful pass six minutes later. The Jakester placed a nifty lob over the oncoming goalie’s head to make it 4-1. And then, with two minutes and change left on the clock, the Garnets crossed the ball in two passes from left midfield to the right wing, where Friedrich snapped it up. A deft fake sent him past the defender to the end line. And then, when no one came out to challenge him and his fellow Garnets were jamming the box, the senior put a low shot to the keeper’s right and into the far corner of the goal.

After beating a game Ardsley team by 4-0 September 27, Harmon’s crew is finally on a roll. They met Pelham in a match post-press time, and travel up to Nanuet tomorrow for a game at 3 p.m.

Garnet keeper Kai Haesslein goes high to snare one, with Alec Jautz by his side.

Carl Friedrich played his usual physical game.


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